Media release from the office of Speaker-designee Kirk Cox on December 1, 2017
General Assembly leaders will ask Timothy Heaphy to present independent review to public safety committees
General Assembly leaders announced on Friday that they will ask Mr. Timothy Heaphy to present to the General Assembly’s public safety committees the findings of his independent review of the incidents that happened in Charlottesville on August 12. Mr. Heaphy released the findings of the review on Friday, finding that the operational plan was “flawed” and that law enforcement was told not to intervene in violent confrontations happening between protestors. The full report can be found here.
The findings of this independent report are certainly inconsistent with much of what was said by city leaders and the administration in the days immediately after the violence (said House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert [R-Shenandoah]). It’s very troubling to learn that law enforcement was effectively told to stand down, even if those weren’t the words that were used. Based on this report, it looks like the brave law enforcement officers on the streets were ill-served by administrators in the days leading up to the event, and then told not to do their jobs as it happened.
This report confirms what many have feared, but hoped was not true (said Senator Mark D. Obenshain [R-Rockingham]). We’re going to continue to look at the report, but the first impressions that administrators effectively hamstrung law enforcement professionals from doing their jobs during the violent events that occurred in Charlottesville is very disconcerting.
General Assembly leaders will ask Mr. Heaphy to present the findings of his review to the public safety committees of the House of Delegates during the upcoming General Assembly session
It’s clear there is more to be learned here, and the next step in that process is to hear directly from Mr. Heaphy about his report (said Senator Obenshain). We will extend an invitation to him and look forward to his presentation.
The House and Senate have participated in the Governor’s task force in good faith, but we owe it to our constituents to hear multiple perspectives on that fateful day (said Majority Leader Gilbert). This is the appropriate next step as we continue to assess what needs to be done in response.